Garuda Indonesia is the flag carrier of Indonesia and its second-largest airline, next to Lion Air. The airline has over 130 aircraft in its fleet but had had to cancel or defer many of its future orders due to a challenging financial situation that has been significantly worsened by the global health crisis. Nonetheless, let’s take a look at Garuda Indonesia and its fleet composition in 2021.
The Garuda fleet at a glance
First, let’s take a look at the composition of the airline’s fleet as a whole. The aircraft types are listed below with quantities in parentheses.
- ATR72-600 (12)
- A330-200 (7)
- A330-300 (17)
- A330-900 (3)
- 737-800 (66)
- 737 MAX 8 (1)*
- 777-300ER (10)
- Bombardier CRJ-1000 (18)
One stored 737 MAX
In 2014, Boeing and Garuda Indonesia announced an order for 50 737 MAX 8s. At the time, this was valued at $4.9 billion as per published prices. The airline was to purchase 46 737 MAX 8s while also converting existing orders for four Next-Generation 737-800s to the latest iteration of the 737.
Although the airline had taken delivery of one 737 MAX 8 in 2017, it had announced its intention to cancel its order for the remaining 49 jets. In March 2019, in the wake of the 2nd 737 MAX crash involving Ethiopian Airlines, the carrier notified Boeing of its intention to cancel the order.
According to The Guardian, a spokesperson for the airline said,
“We have sent a letter to Boeing requesting that the order be cancelled…Garuda passengers in Indonesia have lost trust and no longer have the confidence [in the aircraft].”
Roughly a month after the news of this intention to cancel, Garuda President Ari Ashkara told the Nikkei Asian Review, that the airline would “replace the orders with Boeing’s Max 10s and 787s.” However, it’s been over two years, and this intention to swap aircraft orders has yet to materialize. The airline had also previously announced its intention to purchase 30 787-9 Dreamliners. This was done quite publicly at the 2015 Paris Air Show. However, this never materialized either.
As for the carrier’s one 737 MAX, it is listed as being stored in Jakarta. ch-aviation data notes that investment firm Qilin Ltd. is the registered owner of the four-year-old jet, which has 3,097 flight hours and 1,503 flight cycles.
Garuda’s newest widebody
In 2016, Garuda Indonesia confirmed an order with Airbus for the purchase of 14 A330-900neos. It appears that since then, the order has been adjusted to 12. The airline currently has three of these new aircraft but is expecting nine more, according to ch-aviation data.
Despite one undelivered aircraft being ready to fly, it remains in storage. PK-GHI’s assembly and testing were completed back in April but was sent to storage at Châteauroux-Centre “Marcel Dassault” Airport. Two other Garuda jets are being completed by Airbus at the moment and will likely also go straight to storage given the current situation. In September 2020, we reported that the airline was hoping to defer its aircraft deliveries amid the global health crisis and weak demand.
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Fleet cuts coming?
It looks like Garuda’s fleet is one that is currently in transition, with the carrier having some outstanding issues with both Boeing and Airbus. Given the carrier’s financial challenges, it’s been reported that it may reduce its fleet significantly to get itself away from the brink of bankruptcy.
In June, we reported that the airline’s executives were looking to return as many as 101 aircraft to lessors. Additionally, according to a five-year business plan, Garuda is aiming for a fleet of only 66 planes from 2022 onwards, essentially halving its fleet from current levels.
What do you think of Garuda’s plan to reduce its fleet? Have you flown with the carrier in the past few years? Share your thoughts and experiences by leaving a comment.